Earn your title as a Scrum Master or Product Owner by becoming certified. Here is a list of some of the hottest Scrum certifications out there.
Scrum is a widely used Agile project management framework. As one of the most popular Agile methodologies, Scrum is commonly used by software development teams, however, it can be applied to any industry. Organizations that use the Scrum framework benefit from higher productivity, improved product quality, reduced risk and happier team members.
The Scrum framework requires three key team roles, including the product owner, the Scrum master and the development team. The certified Product Owner and Scrum Master roles are often sought after by aspiring Scrum leaders who wish to lead teams to project success. And if you’re one of them, you must consider obtaining a Scrum certification.
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There are many Scrum certifications out there to choose from, depending on your goals. Here, we break down some of the best certifications available to you.
Why earn a Scrum certification?
There are many benefits to earning a Scrum certification. First, certification provides the knowledge you need to lead teams through successful initiatives. In addition, many organizations looking to take advantage of Scrum are searching for certified Scrum Masters and Product Owners to fill open roles. Obtaining a certification can help you remain competitive in your job search or solidify your place in your current organization.
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Best Scrum certifications
Interested in becoming a certified Scrum Master? If so, these certifications might be the perfect next step.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) by Scrum Alliance
The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification is considered the gold standard. This certification was developed for those new to agile and the more seasoned, including software engineers and project managers.
During the certification course, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the Scrum framework, including Scrum theory and how to plan sprints. Once you complete the CSM certification, additional courses are available such as the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification course.
Professional Scrum Master (PSM) by Scrum.org
Scrum.org offers three levels of Professional Scrum Master, including PSM I, PSM II and PSM III. The Professional Scrum Master certification solidifies your knowledge of the Scrum framework and how it’s used. While the Professional Scrum Master I certification is perfect for Scrum beginners, PSM II and PSM III are best for those with more advanced skills.
Scrum.org offers the Professional Scrum Master certification exams to professionals with or without previous Scrum training. However, they also offer training courses for those just getting started with Scrum. PSM I is required to obtain the PSM II and III certifications.
SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) by Scaled Agile
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a leading framework for scaling Agile according to Gartner. SAFe is provided through Scaled Agile which also provides the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification for SAFe-specific organizations.
During the training course, you’ll learn how to lead Agile teams in a SAFe environment, how to conduct iteration planning and more. Once you complete the training program, you’ll be prepared to take the SAFe Scrum Master certification exam which is best for those with intermediate-level skills.
Scrum Product Owner certifications
In addition to the above certifications, other options exist for those who want to become certified Product Owners within Scrum teams.
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Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) by Scrum Alliance
The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification is for those wanting to learn how to bring new products to life. During this course, product owners, project managers and other Agile team members can dive deeper into the Scrum framework as well as the principles required for success.
The CSPO certification is one of the most popular options for product owners simply due to its benefits. For example, according to a survey completed by Indeed, 39% of the CSPO-certified stated that the certification helped them achieve a higher salary.
Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) by Scrum.org
The Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) certification is similar to the PSM certification as there are three distinct certifications depending on your skill level: PSPO I, PSPO II and PSPO III.
This certification is built on the professional Scrum competencies, including understanding the Scrum framework, developing teams and managing products from plan to launch. PSPO I is required to be able to obtain the PSPO II and III certifications.
SAFe Product Owner/Manager (POPM)
The SAFe Product Owner/Manager (POPM) certification is specifically for product owners who wish to learn how to build products using the Scaled Agile Framework. Inside the course, you’ll learn how to thrive in your role as a product owner, how to test projects and how to collaborate with others on your Scrum team.
Additional certifications for Scrum developers
Other certifications do exist for aspiring Scrum developers. For example, the Scrum Alliance provides a dedicated certification track for developers, which includes Certified Scrum Developer, Advanced Certified Scrum Developer and Certified Scrum Professional for Developers.